1997 Honda Crv Transmission Slipping

Hello all! I have a 1997 Honda crv AWD with an automatic transmission. It has 190k on it. I just recently purchased the car for a really good deal…but with that said I hope you guys can help me.

When I looked over the service records (i have all reciepts for repair from prev. owner from 130k to present) I came across a transmission service. They had filled the transmission with 12 quarts of some crappy dexron III which i know is a no no. In the owners manual it clearly states dexron III can be used in an emergency but should be drained as soon as possible. Only Honda Dw-1 to be used or can cause slipping. Anyway they said they used the dexron III with a transmission additive of some sort. Don’t have exact info on that. This was done at 160k, now at 190k I’m not sure what to do. Heres the deal…

The car when cold shifts fine. Fluid is at correct level and still red. About 5 mins or less into driving the transmission will slip into 3rd gear. When I slow down sometimes its a more abrupt downshift into second almost slamming in. Or if i slow down to make a turn then try to accelerate it shifts hard into second to shift up. Now I know these signs are not good obviously. I’m decently mechanically inclined. However, my question is… can I or rather should I go to honda to get the transmission flushed? I’ve heard mixed reviews on a flush for a honda. I know they don’t have a servicable filter but at this point I don’t want the dexron III sitting in there and maybe the treatment and conditioner they’ll use (i think BG) will correct or at least lesson the issue.

Any suggestions for things i can do on my end or at the dealer would be greatly appretiated. At this stage I don’t have the money for a new tranny so I’ll try and keep this one going for as long as possible.

Thanks!! :slight_smile:

Is the D4 light blinking?


no its not. Thankfully

Then that’s a good sign.

I’d take it in and get the tranny flushed of the Dexron III and have it replaced with the DW1 fluid, and cross your fingers.


do you think its worth the $235 they want to charge me for that after the fluid has been sitting in there for 30k miles?


The alternative is if the tranny keeps slipping, you’re going to need a new tranny.


I’d start with a proper transmission service, including using the correct trans fluid this time. If that helps but doesn’t fix the problem entirely, drive 100 miles, then do it again. If it is relatively easy to do on this make/mode/year, make sure the shop drops the pan, cleans it out, sieves for metal debris, and replaces the filter if applicable. And of course uses the correct fluid. Buy the fluid from Honda.


There is no transmission pan to drop.

I bought my Honda transmission fluid from Car Quest.

Know what it says on the bottle?

Honda Genuine Automatic Transmission Fluid DW1


surprisingly inexpensive for OEM:


since it is no pan to drop, sounds like a DIY job

i’m having the honda dealership do the service. They said its a flush with a cleaner and treatment conditioner in it. So I won’t be buying the fluid myself unfortunately. I would have another shop do it, however I live in an area with a lot of crappy mechanics that I wouldn’t trust.

No cleaners or conditioners!

Just a simple fluid exchange from Dexron III to Honda DW1


I would do it myself, However since i have to have the dexron III taken out of the torque converter I would assume they will be using some sort of machine to suck out the old fluid and pump in the new.

do the cleaners or conditioners typically make things worse? I keep seeing things about lucas stop slip being really good

The flush machine will help w/that.

you do one drain&fill, then drive for 100 miles, then you do another round

for $235 you can probably make 5 flushes or such :slight_smile:

There’s no reason for cleaners/conditioners unless the fluid is burnt, and it’s a last ditch effort to try and save the tranny.


I do appreciate all of your suggestions. :slight_smile:

Someone I know personally has had success with Lucas Stop Leak… He drives a 95’ Honda Accord. He claims this product has tremendously reduced/stopped oil leakage.

Who’s talking about oil leakage?

This thread is about the correct transmission fluid.


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Oops… I’m sorry… I’m new to this community… And must have misread/misunderstood.

But I hope my friend’s personal experience with Lucas Stop Leak (for engines), may help someone some day… :blush: